I experimented with different types of Arches paper and this is what I found:
- Arches Rough 300gsm: As a result of making a mistake when ordering my watercolour paper on-line, I chose Arches 300gsm Rough paper. To my amazement I found this paper to help me achieve the look I was after. With its rougher texture, it was easier to paint looser with the brush happily skipping over the dents in the texture. The painting below was painted on the rough paper and I was pleased with the result. It still allowed for some detail in the people, which was very helpful!
- When I ran out of the Rough paper, I had no other option, but to use the Smooth (arches 300gsm) paper I had on hand and hadn’t used for a long time. I devoted this paper to two paintings of birds. I am glad I did! The smooth paper seems to differ from the Not and Rough and lifting seems easier. Also, the paint seems to sit on top of the paper that little bit longer giving me a few extra precious moments to move it around. A good example of this is in the painting below, where the entire silhouette of the Egret was painted without undesired dead edges.
- Arches CP Not 640gsm paper: This was Santa’s gift for me this Christmas. I was hesitant to touch it, but when all other paper was exhausted, it’s turn came. It’s literally like cardboard, it is so thick! This paper doesn’t need to be stretched as it is so rigid, but a nice white border always seems desirable. The Seagull below was painted on this glorious paper. I have found that most papers don’t differ too much whether using front or back, but found that the heavy duty paper was rougher in texture on the back. That makes it a double win, as I can now use either side for different purposes. The paper allows for some heavy duty lifting and is very forgiving. Just as well, as it is expensive enough. But I guess you get what you pay for. It is super ideal for larger watercolour paintings.
- Below is another painting on 640gsm paper.